Easter may be right around the corner (less than a week?!), but there are still plenty of things you can do to ensure you have your greatest Resurrection Sunday ever! Every church is different, of course, but regardless of your congregation’s size, denomination, or budget there’s a lot you can do in the eleventh hour to help drive attendance and generate excitement.
Work the Phones
There’s a lot for churches to learn and gain from utilizing social media and other “new media,” but personal contact is still one of the most effective methods for getting guests and “CME” members (Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter-only attendees) to show up.
Don’t underestimate the power of picking up the phone and extending a personal invitation to those who have visited in the past to come back and celebrate Easter with you. Encourage your congregation to do the same! You’ll likely be amazed at the results!
Plan a Guest Reception
Having a great plan for your service is important, but having a plan for guests after the service is also critical to connecting. It’s easy for the pastor or church staff to get caught up talking to one or two well-meaning church members after a service, while guests slip out the door. Be intentional about creating a moment where the pastoral team (or volunteers you’ve designated) are able to greet each guest and make that all-too-important personal connection.
Your reception doesn’t have to be elaborate — coffee and donuts are always a hit! What’s most important is that guests are able to recognize that you care enough about them to have put in some thought before they ever showed up. Having warm, friendly staff available to greet guests matters much more than if you have a free gift or the fanciest high-priced coffee. People want a connection!
Utilize Social Media
A personal invitation is much more effective than any other method of advertising, but nothing beats social media for getting your information out to the masses. Due to changes in Facebook’s algorithm recently, it’s harder for churches to get the free publicity they may be used to. The good news, however, is that paid advertising on Facebook is incredibly affordable — especially when compared to traditional media such as radio, direct mail, and billboards.
For just $25-50, you could reach a laser-targeted audience of thousands. For a basic overview of how to get started with Facebook advertising, check out this blog post from Kenny Jahng.
Do a Walkthrough
Take a walk through your facility with a fresh set of eyes. Can you find everything a first-time guest needs to find without asking someone for help? Make sure you have clear signage for restrooms, nursery, and children’s ministry areas. Make minor repairs to scuffs, spills, and worn paint that you and your regular attendees have grown used to.
Pay attention to the restroom, which is often the first place a guest visits when they attend. Is everything tidy? Clean? Smell nice? Paying attention to these small details may not seem like you’re doing much, but it’s often “the little foxes that spoil the vines.”
There are a million practical things you can do to prepare for Easter. Postcards, phone calls, invitation videos…the list is endless. (To make sure you have all of your practical ducks in a row before Sunday, download our free Givelify Easter Planning Checklist.)
If we’re not careful, however, we’ll sacrifice the spiritual for the practical and end up disappointed with the results. As a pastor myself, I can tell you from experience that there’s little more effective in the preparation for Easter (or any service, for that matter) than having prayed and surrendered the moment to God. Yes, you should absolutely do everything in your power to make Easter a success. But you also need to recognize that without His power the moment will come and go without the critical transaction having taken place — lives being changed.
That’s what we’re after. Not numbers for the sake of numbers. Not fancy graphics and promotions that make us look great. But putting people into relationship with God and into contact with the power of His resurrection is the most important thing that can happen this weekend. And without prayer, it’s impossible.
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I would be remiss if I didn’t add one last thing you can do to seize the full potential of your Easter crowd this weekend…
Remove Roadblocks to Church Giving
You’re going to have guests this weekend who will be moved by the service. And, in response, they’re going to want to show their appreciation and support what you’re doing by responding through church giving. For the majority, however, they won’t have a checkbook with them, and they won’t have cash (I routinely have neither). Does your church have a way for them to give if all they have with them that day is their phone?
Don’t miss out on one of the biggest bumps in church giving many ministries experience throughout the year. Schedule your free, one-on-one demo today, or sign up for our next demo webinar to see everything Givelify has to offer. You can sign up in just minutes and be ready to accept donations via your customized Givelify app profile today.